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Imagineers Bring New Audio-Animatronics to Life at Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Jennifer Fickley-Baker

by , Editorial Content Manager, Walt Disney World Resort

How do you recreate Disney characters for a new attraction? According to Walt Disney Imagineering, it all starts with a hand-drawn sketch …

Imagineers Bring First Full 3D Audio-Animatronics to Life at Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Imagineers Bring First Full 3D Audio-Animatronics to Life at Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Imagineers Bring First Full 3D Audio-Animatronics to Life at Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Imagineers Bring First Full 3D Audio-Animatronics to Life at Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

In this new video, our Imagineers take you behind the scenes to see how they’re bringing to life some of the most advanced Audio-Animatronics characters ever created. According to them, the process involved working with Walt Disney Animation Studios and going back to the original film to study each Dwarf’s individual motions and even facial expressions in order to get them just right. The end goal: To make them look as if they just jumped off of the screen.

What do you think of the Dwarfs? Tell us in the “Comments” section below

For more on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train read the posts below:


  • they are pretty awesome although some of the figures faces are lit too brightly and it looks projection, Doc is perfect the projection matches his skin tone without being glowy. Keep up the great work! can’t wait to get down there to see them.

  • #7 – Kathy
    He’s pre-occupied.

  • I’m so impressed with these characters and their ability to look soooo real!…..I’m hoping I get to experience this attraction when at Disney world in the beginning of May………PLEASE be up and running by then!

    • Don’t they look like they just jumped off of the screen?

  • Are these characters fully audio-animatronic? Or are the faces a combination with video projection, such as Buzz Loghtyear in the Space Ranger Spin queue?

  • Hey!! I am soo excited about this ride! is there any chance you guys can make an wheelchair accesible vehicle for it? I love roller coasters and all rides, but when I go alone with my mom, she can’t carry me to the normal vehicle, so in those trips I can just to the totally accessible rides (like the little Mermaid, which I love of course 🙂 )… I will be there in August but just with her and I am dying to ride! PLEASEEEEEEEEE

  • The Sleepy animatronic with the skunk tickling his nose is very funny. 😀

  • OMG…I can only hope and pray I can save up$$$ to take my boys sometime next year. I grew up going to disney and now I want to give my boys that same opporunity.
    This new ride with sleepy and the gang looks amazing. Even if i have to pack the car and drive from st louis, I will get to Disney.

    • A dream is a wish your heart makes, Laura! Go for it!

  • just amazing!!!!!!!! we will be at the parks from May 23rd – June 2nd..hopefully we will get to ride this “sure to be” wonderful and magic ride!! Please, please reveal the date!!! expectations are “killing” us! 🙂

  • I am SO EXCITED!!! This brought tears to my eyes!! I will be there June 14th and cannot wait to ride it! Disney truly is the happiest place on Earth!!!

    • I’m so happy you’re excited!

  • Can.Not.Wait!

  • The look great. I’m sure Walt would love it!

  • Amazing! Can’t wait to be there in September and ride the Mine Train.

  • Amazing! Just amazing. I have always loved Dopey. I can’t wait to come and visit him. Congrats, Imagineers.

  • I have to agree with all of the comments so far. In a word these audio animatronics are AMAZING!! I wish I could have a walk through tour of the attraction with an Imagineer to see the dwarves close up instead of whizzing by them on a ride.

    I’ve been listening to several Walt Disney World podcasts and it seems that everyone is eagerly awaiting the announcement of an opening date for the attraction so maybe you can post it here today. We promise we won’t tell anyone. LOL.

    • I wish I had something to share. Keep checking back!

  • This is why Disney Parks stays the leader in theme parks around the world.

  • Amazing. I wonder if they will do this with any of the older attractions

  • I am going to be there on May 7th. Am I going to be able to ride this or what Jennifer ;)?!?! The not knowing is killing me!

    • We hope to have an opening date to share very soon! Keep checking back.

  • These look excellent! Great job imagineers!

  • This incredibly impressive, I have to agree I think Walt would be very proud of these animatronics. It looks like they’re even an improvement on what Lumière from Enchanted Tales with Belle is like. It makes me even more excited for my return trip to Disney World and the opening of the Avatar-themed land in the future. Keep up the great work and congratulations to all on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train opening.

  • LOVE it!!!! I am going to WDW in May and keep praying to Walt himself that this ride is open for our visit!!!

  • We’re going to be there in Aug. and can’t WAIT to experience this in person!

    • I hope you love it, Adam. 🙂

  • Any idea if these animations will be in the que or just during the ride? I would love to take my special needs sister through the que if this is what she’ll see – then I think there would be an exit for people that can’t or don’t want to ride the coaster.

  • They look incredible… if they’re anything like Lumière from Enchanted Tales with Belle, this is going to be the closest thing to the real movie ever made! Congrats to all!

  • All this tease is killing me!! I can’t wait to experience this attraction! I will be at WDW next month and I am hoping Tink will sprinkle some pixie dust and it will be open 🙂 Well done Disney!!

  • This. Is. Amazing! We are witnessing the evolution of Theme Park Attractions. It’s bringing animation to life. Not only would Walt have approved, but I most certainly do! I can’t wait to see this in person, and what they do with other beloved Disney Attractions!

    • I hope you enjoy it, Tim!

  • I agree with what was said in the video… Walt probably would have loved this!

    • 🙂

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